Cruising is big business these days and the number of people jumping on board is increasing all the time.
There’s something about pulling up a chair and relaxing while staring out to sea and soaking up the views that people just can’t get enough of.
As the new owner of Modhachaidh, a lovely converted cottage in Balnabruach, Portmahomack, you could enjoy a very similar experience every day, without splashing out on a cruise, or leaving the comfort of your own armchair.
For this house, situated at the end of a quiet no-through road, is right on the beachfront and enjoys some of the most stunning seaside views in the Highlands.
“The house was built in 1848 as a fisherman’s cottage and at that time, there were very few houses around,” said owner Ross Duff.
“We bought the house about 12 years ago, a couple of years after it had been converted and had a conservatory added along with an upper level which houses a large lounge designed to maximise the views.
“When the tide is in and you’re sitting in the upstairs lounge, it actually feels like you are on a cruise ship.”
The large, warm and airy lounge has a Velux window, wall to ceiling windows and patio doors leading to the balcony directly overlooking the beach, making it the ideal place to view the sunsets for which Portmahomack is famous.
“The sea always changes and you can sit and watch it for ages. There’s also a tremendous amount of wildlife to be seen including lots of birds, dolphins and otters who sometimes wander into the garden.
“There’s also very little light pollution here so we have sat on the balcony many times and watched the most fantastic displays of the Northern Lights.”
The house is on the market at offers over £230,000, but has a Home Report value of £250,000. There’s already been a great deal of interest in the property as homes in Balnabruach rarely come up for sale.
The accommodation comprises, on the ground floor, a large master bedroom, formerly the living room of the original cottage, with a modern en-suite; two further bedrooms each with fitted wardrobes; a large family bathroom with bath and walk-in shower and a fully fitted kitchen with block-wood worktops, Belfast sink, built-in fridge-freezer and dishwasher. The washing machine is also included in the sale.
There’s also a light and spacious conservatory/dining room on the lower floor while the upper floor is devoted to the aforementioned lounge while a spacious walk-in attic offers plenty of storage space.
Outside the house, which has double glazing throughout and oil-fired central heating, there’s a double garage with workbench and tumble drier, and large blockwork drive at front, with quiet, sheltered garden overlooking farmland.
At the rear there’s a small garden and patio directly overlooking the beach and here there’s another gem – a building that’s part-shed, part-bar, part-office and part-bird-hide.
“Everyone who has viewed the house has said they love the shed. It’s a great place to sit and watch wildlife or just relax,” said Ross.
“We would return here regularly to visit family and during one visit noticed the cottage was being converted. It was the first house here to have a balcony and it really took our fancy so when it came on the market about 12 years ago, we jumped at the chance to buy it.
”For the first six years we used it as a holiday home, but also rented it out and it was often fully booked for more than 20 weeks a year with people coming back year after year.
“About six years go we stopped renting it out and kept it for our own grown up family of four, and ourselves, to use. We decided to retire here and the plan was to live in the cottage but then a bigger house in the village, which suited our needs better, came up for sale.
“We bought it although we love the cottage and are sad to be selling it, it is now surplus to our requirements. It’s being sold complete with all furniture and fittings right down to the pots, pans and cutlery.
“It’s ready to move in to and ideal as a holiday home, but also ideal for those in the market for a retirement or second home,” said Ross.
Portmahomack is a popular and beautiful fishing village less than an hour’s drive from Inverness. Amenities there include a Blue Flag beach, golf course, picturesque harbour, Pictish Discovery Centre, primary school, pub, village hall, cafe, bistro, Post Office, shop and an award-winning restaurant.
Contact Mr Duff on 07768176102 (daytime) and in the evenings on 01862 871779 or visit www.houseweb.com